REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, during TechCrunch Disrupt, Openbucks (www.openbucks.com) is launching the Gift Card Payment Network. For the first time ever, consumers can use gift cards from trusted retail brands, such as Subway, Circle K, CITGO, Hess and Sports Authority, as payment for online games and at ecommerce sites. Openbucks turns gift cards into a convenient online purchasing and payment method and is ideal for people who do not have a credit card or prefer not to use them when paying online.
"We've created Openbucks to provide consumers with a simple and safe way to pay online – similar to cash in the brick-and-mortar world," said Marc Rochman, CEO and founder of Openbucks. "Twenty-five percent of U.S. households and most U.S. teens have no or very limited access to credit cards, and many consumers are leery of giving out financial information. We're aiming to give these people a frictionless way to purchase online."
Using an Openbucks-enabled gift card, consumers can complete a transaction in five seconds or less. After purchasing a gift card at one of more than 100,000 locations in the United States and Canada, consumers can use it in hundreds of online games, including Aeria Games, Artix Entertainment, Bigpoint and World Golf Tour, and e-tailers, which together have over 300 million monthly active users.
For instance, if you want to buy in-game credits for Bigpoint's hit Battlestar Galactica Online or new golf gear in World Golf Tour without a credit card, just enter the card number and pin on the back of your Subway gift card and the transaction is complete.
"We are building the world's largest prepaid distribution network, leveraging existing popular gift card programs," said Itamar Kandel, president and co-founder of Openbucks. "Virtual goods purchases are projected to reach $10 billion by 2013 so we believe the gaming market is a great place to start. In beta testing, we're finding that up to 74 percent of the people who made an in-game purchase using a gift card through Openbucks had never bought virtual goods before. This is something our retailers and gaming companies are loving."
Using Openbucks is easy whether you are a consumer, an online merchant or a retail gift card issuer. Consumers do not have to worry about going over budget, getting a bill at the end of the month or hassling with filling out complicated payment forms at the end of the check out process. Online merchants can add the Openbucks payment option to their shopping cart in a few simple steps through an application programming interface (API).
It takes little effort for retail gift card issuers to integrate with Openbucks as the company has relationships with the main processing companies, including Ceridian Stored Value Solutions and Fifth Third Bank.
Initial retailers participating in the Openbucks Gift Card Payment Network include Subway, Circle K, CITGO, Hess and Sports Authority, which collectively have more than 41,000 stores and are distributed at more than 60,000 additional points of sales, which means more than 97 percent of consumers can grab a gift card from an Openbucks retail partner within minutes.
Retailers can leverage their existing gift card programs by making their gift cards a preferred and recurring way to pay online for consumers, driving foot traffic from online to offline (O2O). Retailers receive free online exposure at checkout where consumers are focused and engaged, keeping their brands top of mind, and earn a profit from sales captured in the shopping cart of third party merchants via an embedded mini digital store, a proprietary technology for which Openbucks has several pending patents.
The Openbucks Gift Card Payment Network is a fast, convenient and safe alternative to credit cards for online payment. Consumers can get a gift card from a trusted retailer such as Subway, Circle K, CITGO, Hess and Sports Authority, and purchase online at hundreds of online games and ecommerce sites. For more information please visit www.openbucks.com.
About TechCrunch Disrupt
TechCrunch Disrupt (http://disrupt.techcrunch.com), Sept 12-14 2011, at San Francisco Design Center Concourse, 635 8th Street (at Brannan), is TechCrunch's marquee conference in San Francisco attracting over 2,000 leading technology innovators and investors and over 150 new startups. The format combines top thought-leader discussions with new product and company launches. Morning executive discussions debate the most timely disruptions in media, advertising and technology. Afternoons host the Startup Battlefield where 27 new companies will launch for the first time on stage, selected to present from more than 1,000 applications received from around the world. Another 200 early-stage startups will exhibit in Startup Alley. TechCrunch will award a $50,000 grand prize along with other award recognitions at the conclusion of the conference.
TechCrunch (www.techcrunch.com) is a leading technology media network, dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies. Founded in 2005, TechCrunch and its network of websites reach over 8 million unique visitors and more than 25 million page views per month. TechCrunch operates a global network of websites including dedicated properties in Europe and Japan as well as specialized industry websites including MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, and TechCrunchIT. TechCrunch's CrunchBase, is the leading, open database about start-up companies, people and investors. In addition to Disrupt, TechCrunch hosts other conferences and events, including The Crunchies Awards and various meet-ups worldwide serving as community platforms for industry conversation and collaboration.
Openbucks and Gift Card Payment Network are registered trademarks of Openbucks, Corp. All other trademarks and product names are the property of their respective companies.